World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000565307
Reproduction Date:

Title: Apparatchik  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Moscow on the Hudson, Konstantin Kuzakov, Administrators' noticeboard/Giano, Żydokomuna, Apparatus
Collection: Management Occupations, Russian Words and Phrases, Soviet Phraseology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Russian аппаратчик
Romanization apparatchik
Literal meaning functionary

Apparatchik (Russian: аппара́тчик ) is a Russian colloquial term for a full-time, professional functionary of the Communist Party or government "apparat" (apparatus) that held any position of bureaucratic or political responsibility, with the exception of the higher ranks of management called "Nomenklatura". James Billington describes one as "a man not of grand plans, but of a hundred carefully executed details."[1] It is often considered a derogatory term, with negative connotations in terms of the quality, competence, and attitude of a person thus described.[2]

Members of the "apparat" were frequently transferred between different areas of responsibility, usually with little or no actual training for their new areas of responsibility. Thus, the term apparatchik, or "agent of the apparatus" was usually the best possible description of the person's profession and occupation.[3]

Not all apparatchiks held lifelong positions. Many only entered such positions in middle age.[4]

Today apparatchik is also used in contexts other than that of the [5]

According to Douglas Harper's Online Etymology Dictionary, the term was also used in the meaning "Communist agent or spy", originating in the writings of Arthur Koestler, circa 1941.[6]

In Australia, the term is often used to describe people who have made their career as factional operatives and leaders in political parties, and who are therefore perceived to have little 'real-world' experience outside of politics.


  • See also 1
  • References 2
  • Further reading 3
  • External links 4

See also


  1. ^ James H. Billington, Fire in the minds of men, Transaction Publishers, 1999, p. 455, ISBN 0-7658-0471-9, ISBN 978-0-7658-0471-6
  2. ^ Raymond Pearson, The rise and fall of the Soviet Empire, Palgrave Macmillan, p. xx, 1998, ISBN 0-312-17407-1
  3. ^ Roland Huntford, The new totalitarians, Chapter 7 "The Rule of the Apparatchiks," Stein and Day, 1972, p. 135, ISBN 0-8128-1408-8, ISBN 978-0-8128-1408-8.
  4. ^ David Stuart Lane, Cameron Ross, The transition from communism to capitalism: ruling elites from Gorbachev to Yeltsin, Palgrave Macmillan, 1999, p. 25-26, ISBN 0-312-21612-2, ISBN 978-0-312-21612-2
  5. ^ apparatchik. Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved 2 August 2012 from website:
  6. ^ Apparatchik

Further reading

External links

  • Robert Shea, Empire of the Rising Scum, essay on apparatchiks by author/journalist on personal web site.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.